Rio 2016 mascots
The as-yet-unnamed Rio 2016 mascots.

Olympic links: 24 November, 2014

Rio 2016 mascots
The as-yet-unnamed Rio 2016 mascots.

Authors denoted in brackets. LL – Laura Lambert. OW – Ollie Williams

2024 Summer Olympics

Here’s a map and article regarding Washington, DC’s proposed 2024 bid. Interestingly, while the IOC plans to offer future Games to entire regions instead of cities, DC puts forward a vision for a ‘compact’ Games – actively doing away with the regional approach it took in its 2012 bid. (OW)


New Zealand shot putter Valerie Adams is the first thrower to be named World Athlete of the Year. Pole vault world record-holder Renaud Lavillenie won the men’s version. British heptathlete Morgan Lake won the rising star award. (LL)

Greg Rutherford and Jo Pavey have spoken out against Doha being awarded the 2019 World Championships, with Rutherford saying he would support athletes who boycotted the event because of Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers: (LL)

“We need to make sure those sorts of things are sorted. The only way you’re going to change people in that way, is by not going to the event,” said Rutherford. “If an athlete feels strong enough to not be involved, I’d wholeheartedly support them.”

GB 110m hurdler Andy Pozzi is ready for his comeback after two years out following a hamstring injury at London 2012 and foot surgery since. (OW)

He then had to undergo foot surgery in both June 2013 and May of this year, wiping out the past two outdoor season, but is ready to get back into training after being relieved of his surgical boot a few weeks ago.


Kidambi Srikanth is being hailed a “new star of Indian sport” after beating double Olympic champion Lin Dan earlier this month. (OW)



The Toronto Star looks at how female pilots Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor have adapted in their first competitive races driving four-man sleds. Humphries won silver in a North American Cup race in Calgary at the weekend, with Meyers Taylor taking bronze. (OW)


Two British women fight for gold at the World Championships in South Korea today, as do Ireland’s Katie Taylor and US teenager Claressa Shields. (OW)


Having seen out the post-Sochi ‘whirlwind’, Eve Muirhead is confident her Scottish team is still one of the best in the world and can challenge at this week’s European Championships. Here’s an update after two days of the event. (LL)


Dani King describes the crash she initially thought would end her career as “just bad luck”, insisting it hasn’t put her off road racing. She plans a return to full training at the start of January. (LL)

Mark Cavendish and team-mate Iljo Keisse finished second at the Gent six-day race. (Six-day racing is a niche, intense branch of cycling popular on the European continent. OW)

The second round of UK track cycling’s Revolution Series saw Maloja Pushbikers extend their elite championship lead and Laura Trott’s unbeaten run come to an end. (LL)


Figure skating

Russian figure skater Maksim Kovtun won the Trophee Bompard (France’s Grand Prix). Compatriot Yelena Radionova won the women’s event as Russia’s impressive season so far continues. (OW)


Around 45,000 people watched England’s women lose 3-0 to Germany at Wembley Stadium on Saturday – the first time the women’s team has played there. (OW)

Before the game, England coach Marianne Spacey described to the Independent the rate of change in women’s football: “50 years of progress in the last 20 years.” In the same paper, broadcaster Clare Balding examined the same phenomenon: (OW)

“I will actually recognise the players. I’ll know their stories. It’s one of the massive changes in sport in very recent years and why I think now there is a real, tangible, exciting sea change in the way we perceive women’s sport.

“This match is a huge moment. It’s one of many coming up fast for women’s sport, like the Boat Race in April, when the women will race on the same day as the men, and then the Women’s Football World Cup in the summer – almost certainly being shown on terrestrial TV – when England have a massive chance of making the semi-finals and a not-ridiculous chance of going all the way.”

Hockey (field)

England’s Georgie Twigg previews the Champions Trophy. (OW)

How Indian hockey is run – an article which makes things sound like a bit of a mess. (OW)

Rio 2016

Rio has revealed its mascots. (Official site’s new ‘mascots’ section – comes with a minute-long introductory video. There’s also a vote to choose their names. OW)

Mascots from previous Olympics and Paralympics have been spending time touring Rio. (Video here, 1min 52secs. OW)

Construction firms involved in Rio 2016 are embroiled in a Brazilian corruption probe. (OW)


A whole new Olympic definition for “short track” could be on the way. It may be a form of speed skating, but short track is also the name of a form of kiteboarding that proponents hope will help the sport get into the Games. (OW)


Olympic giant slalom champion Ted Ligety hurt his hand and had wrist surgery at the weekend but expects to return to action almost immediately. (OW)

The Czech Republic’s Roman Koudelka earned his first ski jump World Cup win in Klingenthal, Germany. The Germans beat Japan in the team event. (OW)

California’s ski resorts are on the brink of disaster, in the continued absence of snow. (OW)


GB’s Aimee Fuller on her future broadcasting prospects after her famed, if partisan, live coverage of Jenny Jones’s slopestyle bronze medal in Sochi: (OW)

“My main priority is snowboarding at the minute but I wouldn’t rule out the whole commentating thing.

“I had so much fun doing it at the Olympics and it’s always something I’ve had an interest in but my focus is on becoming the best snowboarder I can be. I’ve still got a lot left in the tank.”

Meanwhile, fellow Briton Jamie Nicholls was fourth at the Burton Rail Days event in Japan. “Some people will see fourth as a good result but I was going out there to try to win it.” (OW)

Norma, the 75-year-old snowboarding grandma. (Video, 1min 37secs. OW)


Leading Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu will publish an English-language version of her bookThe Hungarian Iron Lady, in April. (OW)

Michael Phelps, his rumoured girlfriend, and what it means to be intersex. (OW)

A quick round-up of the weekend’s Arena Grand Prix in Minneapolis. (OW)


Three British gold medals at the French Open over the weekend. (OW)


Novak Djokovic says the Olympics is at the top of his career to-do list: (OW)

“It’s one of my biggest dreams. I love Rio and Brazil,” the 27-year-old Serb told Brazilian news portal Globoesporte. “I’ve only been there once, when I played Guga (Gustavo Kuerten) in an exhibition match. It was one of the best experiences that I’ve had. The crowd was very receptive.

“Brazilians love their sport. The (football) World Cup this year was a success and now they are looking at hosting the Olympics. I’m looking forward to it.”


A suicide bomber killed at least 45 people at a tournament in Afghanistan, where volleyball is a popular sport. (OW)

The British-Iranian women jailed for attempting to watch a volleyball game in Tehran has been freed on bail at a cost of more than £20,000. (OW)

Other news

An earthquake struck west of the Japanese city of Nagano, host of the 1998 Winter Olympics, on Saturday: (OW)

A daylight assessment Sunday found at least 50 homes destroyed in two villages, and 41 people injured across the region, including seven seriously, mostly with broken bones, officials said.

The magnitude-6.7 earthquake struck shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday west of Nagano city at a depth of 5 kilometres (3 miles), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The agency revised the magnitude and depth from initial estimates. The U.S. Geological Survey recorded a magnitude of 6.2. Since the quake occurred inland, there was no possibility of a tsunami.

Ryo Nishino, a restaurant owner in Hakuba, a ski resort village west of Nagano, told Japanese broadcaster NHK that he had “never experienced a quake that shook so hard. The sideways shaking was enormous.” He said he was in the restaurant’s wine cellar when the quake struck, and that nothing broke there.

By virtue of its latest edition mentioning local Olympians, it has come to my attention that one British regional newspaper is running the enlightening series, Twenty-one more fascinating facts about Sutton Coldfield. There appear to have been at least seven editions of 21 facts to date. Of particular, if non-Olympic, interest is the “local anagram” section at the end: (OW)

Finally, here are a few local anagrams: Bishop Vesey: Peevish boys. Sutton Girls: Nostril Tugs. The Parade: Ape hatred. Chester Road: Charter’s Ode. Rectory Park: Perky Carrot. Wyndley Lane: Nelly Yawned. Wylde Green: Lewd Energy.